Archive for September 1st, 2013



September 1, 2013

I got this thing about kindness

We’ve all heard the golden rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. I just finished reading Wonder written by R.J. Palacio. The book was selected for one of the  Maine Student Book Award’s, 2013-14. It is about a boy who is home-schooled during his early years due to a facial deformity that prevents him from attending school. When it is time for 5th grade his parents decide to send him to a prep school which causes angst for some in the school community and challenges for the child and family. The underlying message that is woven throughout the book is kindness. In the end, kindness is the king (and queen)!

As we start another school year I think about the students who go to school from families filled with love and kindness and others who aren’t so fortunate. Kindness is a simple thing that can make a huge impact on the development of a child. No matter what age level you teach it is important and essential for students to be touched by kindness. I remember from my early years in teaching the students whose goals seem to be to make teachers miserable. It wasn’t until I realized that there was a reason for every behavior that I started to reach out to those students through kindness. It took so little effort on my part yet impacted the student enormously.

We know the value of “relationships” and how important they are between student and teacher. Human connections are imperative to successful classrooms for all students. In Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.

As we start the new school year I have included some quotes on kindness that I hope will inspire you like they have me!

  • Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.  ~Mark Twain
  • Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.  ~Seneca
  • When I was young, I admired clever people.  Now that I am old, I admire kind people.  ~Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.  ~Author Unknown
  • Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. ~Henry James
  • In a world full of people who couldn’t care less, be someone who couldn’t care more.  ~Author Unknown
  • The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.  ~Charles Kuralt, On the Road With Charles Kuralt
  • Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.  ~Marian Wright Edelman
  • As the bus slowed down at the crowded bus stop, the Pakistani bus conductor leaned from the platform and called out, “Six only!”  The bus stopped.  He counted on six passengers, rang the bell, and then, as the bus moved off, called to those left behind:  “So sorry, plenty of room in my heart – but the bus is full.”  He left behind a row of smiling faces.  It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.  ~The Friendship Book of Francis Gay, 1977

Below is a link to the Edutopia article from May 2013 called Five-Minute Film Festival: Nine Videos on Kindness, Empathy, and Connection. They are resources to view personally, share with colleagues, parents, community, and/or perhaps show to your students or at a faculty meeting. Some are TED talks, some from YouTube.

Thanks to Kal Elmore for sending me the link.

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